What is a Hoverboard? - dummies

What is a Hoverboard?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House, Abshier House

Hoverboards are two-wheeled, electric, portable devices that are also commonly known as self-balancing scooters. Originally, the term hoverboard referred to a levitating device made popular by 1980’s film culture. Not quite the stuff of Back to the Future, hoverboards, as they have come to be known, are the latest craze in self-propelled mobility. Typically, these devices function like powered skateboards and consist of a platform for the rider, situated between two wheels and powered by large lithium-ion batteries.

The latest trend in personal transportation. [Credit: ©iStock/Steve Debenport]
Credit: ©iStock/Steve Debenport
The latest trend in personal transportation.

How do hoverboards work?

One question pops up frequently about hoverboards: how do they work? Well, the rider is able to stay upright and be propelled forward with a little bit of practice. A hoverboard consists of the following:

  • Gyroscope: Adjusts the tilt of the hoverboard to maintain balance.

  • Microprocessors: These tiny processors regulate the power output to the wheels.

  • Battery: Stores the electrical power for your scooter. This is usually a high-watt lithium battery.

  • Motor: Provides the power to the wheels to keep the rider balanced and upright.

These components work together to provide the correct power output and manage the tilt so that the rider stays upright and is able to move at a controlled speed. The user stands on the platform between the wheels and adjusts the speed and direction of the board by applying weight with his feet. Most reputable hoverboards will go between 6 and 10 miles per hour, with some reaching speeds of 12 miles per hour.

If you are in the market for a hoverboard, check bestelectrichoverboard.com for reviews, statistics, restrictions, and other interesting tips.

Where are hoverboards legal?

Although it is difficult to identify the exact origination of these devices, hoverboards became popular in the United States around 2015. The appearance of celebrities on hoverboards catapulted these scooters into fame, while simultaneously raising questions about legality.

So, are they legal? That depends on where you go. After Wiz Khalifa was tackled to the ground in an airport for riding his hoverboard, many people began to question their own purchases. Currently, New York City and California are the only places within the United States that have restrictions in place for these scooters. New York City has banned their use altogether. However, advocates are working to remove the restrictions. California prohibits anyone under 16 from using hoverboards. The state has also placed speed limits on the devices and restricted their use to bike lanes. Riders must also wear helmets.

While there is currently little to no safety requirements for hoverboards in most areas of the United States, it is always wise to take precautions when using a motorized device. To avoid injury, riders are encouraged to wear helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.

Hoverboards have been restricted in many countries around the world. Although the laws differ from place to place, there are laws regarding these self-propelled scooters in the following locations:

  • Germany

  • England

  • Wales

  • Netherlands

  • Mecca

  • Scotland

  • Australia

  • Hong Kong

  • Toronto, Canada

If you plan to ride one of these devices, it is always a good idea to check your local laws.